Have You Seen This Person?

There's a certain someone we've all come to know, whether in person or through online interaction. Let me give you a portrait of just who I mean.

I mean someone who walks into a Starbucks wearing J. Crew or J. Jill, or something equally indistinguishable. I mean someone who is happy that the place is playing The Beatles and cheerily hums along without noticing. Someone who orders a coffee that costs more than a beer because they want to make sure it is “fair” instead of “free” trade. I mean someone who buys that coffee and still votes for their congressional incumbent who voted for NAFTA a generation ago.

It is someone who does not just do all of this, but is happy about having done it in a very conscious way. I mean someone who thinks they are getting good Karma from the act of buying this coffee, not someone who just bought some coffee so they could drink some coffee. It is someone who makes enough money that no sacrifice was made in their expensive purchase—and it is certainly not someone who smokes. This someone can’t remember the last time they ordered at a restaurant and lied when they said they just wanted an ice water to drink.

It is someone who is still convinced that consumerism sounds like, “Buy this and you’ll be happy.” It is someone who would not understand that consumerism could ever sound like, “Buy this and the world will be a better place.” This someone would put unrefined, organic sugar in their coffee when they sat at their table. I mean someone who would not think about the role Starbucks has played in the death of organized labor. This person would not think of the irony that while the trunk of their car might have reusable canvas bags, the coffee cup they’re holding is disposable.

This person would roll their eyes if you brought this up to them. I mean someone who would dodge the topic of Israel, but not of the supposed injustices done to American Indians. I mean someone who votes Democrat, but can’t think of any reason to dislike Bush Sr. I mean someone who, after having finished their coffee, would go back to the car filled with the reusable canvas bags. Someone who would crawl inside that Prius and turn on National Public Radio. Someone who might hear a story about something happening somewhere. The something would be unjust. The somewhere would be far, far away.

Have you seen this person?